Lotus trying to land sponsorship Lotus Formula One is still seeking sponsorship to help the new Malaysian team survive in its first season in 2010 despite a tight budget.
Launched two months ago as a collaboration between the Malaysian government, who hold no equity in the team, and a trio of entrepreneurs, Lotus insisted it had the means to compete.
A team director told Malaysia's Bernama news agency the company would look to attract investors from various corporate bodies, including government-linked companies (GLCs).
'What is wrong with asking for sponsors from GLCs like Petronas?' said Mr. Kamarudin Meranun. 'If Petronas can sponsor a foreign F1 team, why should the national petroleum company not sponsor a local team?'
Malaysia's state oil company was a long-time backer of the BMW-Sauber team. Lotus's start-up capital of around US$47 million is a fraction of Ferrari's budget, estimated at between US$300 and US$400 million.
However, Mr. Kamarudin insisted the team had a strategy to overcome its financial restrictions despite the recent departure of Toyota and BMW, following Honda's exit last year. Team principal Tony Fernandes' ownership of Asia's largest budget airline AirAsia would help lower the cost of moving equipment and crew members, he added.
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